For a few days this past week my family and I escaped the heat of southern Arizona and went north to the cool and green mountains.The San Francisco Mountains, just north of Flagstaff, Arizona, are covered with aspen, spruce and ponderosa pine. Flagstaff, at 7,000 feet elevation (2,135 meters), is surrounded by the world's largest, contiguous ponderosa pine forest. The diverse terrain in the area ranges from desert cactus through pinon-juniper plateaus, green alpine forests to barren tundra.
|Sunset Crater Volcano|
There is dramatic and abrupt changes in elevation and climate in a relatively short distance as you travel from Sunset Crater volcano to the Wupakti Pueblo area. The area changes from mountainous ponderosa pine, to middle elevation pinon pine, to grassland, to sparsely vegetated high desert. This greatly increases the biological diversity of the and and was quite a sight for this gardener to see.